Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)


Political Science


Over the last several years, it has become more and more economically difficult for counties and states to run their programs. One of the areas that has seen drastic budgetary cuts is the Criminal Justice System. Prisons, detention centers and other rehabilitative programs have been closed down across the country to solve some of the impending budget problems. This is one of the reasons that accountability courts have become a more accepted and utilized part of the criminal justice system. Many jurisdictions are taking advantage of what these programs have to offer in an effort to battle the rising cost of prosecuting drug offenders. Drug addiction is draining our states and local governments. It drains them of citizens that would be capable of becoming productive citizens instead of being those that are cared for by tax payers. Drug use also drains the economy because of the money that has to be spent on prosecuting them and filtering them through the criminal justice system over and over. In this system drug offenders have no chance of rehabilitation and state keeps losing money on prosecuting them and housing them in prisons and jails.

The purpose of this study is meant to highlight the benefits of sentencing offenders to alternatives such as, drug courts and other accountability courts, instead of prison. The project involves a case study of the Hall County Drug Court Program in Georgia. The Hall County Drug Court Program was chosen because of its reputation through out the State of Georgia for being successful at having offenders complete the program drug free. This analysis concludes with a recommendation that jurisdictions and court systems put extra efforts in starting drug courts in their counties. Funds need to be appropriated for this purpose and judges and court officials need to be educated on running accountability courts. These courts are the best way to hold offenders responsible for their actions, rehabilitate them, and teach them how to live as productive citizens all at the same time.